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19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/19 19:28
Hi i'm going for my 1st trip to Japan starting from Nov 13. I've made a rough itinerary and would appreciate it if you could please check and advise on changes you see fit..

Day 1: Kix - Half day Osaka
Day 2: Full Day Osaka
Day 3: Osaka - Nara
Day 4: Osaka - Himeji Castle - Akashi - Kobe (for dinner) - Osaka
Day 5: Osaka - Hiroshima
Day 6: Osaka - Ise - Kyoto (Is this doable in a day?)
Day 7: Full Day Kyoto
Day 8: Full Day Kyoto
Day 9: Kyoto - Takayama
Day 10: Takayama - Tokyo
Day 11: Tokyo Full Day
Day 12: Tokyo - Doraemon Museum - Yokohama - Kamakura
Day 13: Tokyo - Lake Kawaguchi - Gotemba Outlet
Day 14: Tokyo - Hitachi Seaside Park
Day 15: Tokyo - Ghibli Museum
Day 16 - 18: Full Day Tokyo
Day 19: Narita airport

- I like a bit of a breathing room in my travels but what other destinations do you think i could work in inbetween these ones?
- I don't like moving hotels too much that's why i decided to base myself in only 3 cities, but i'll be glad to add another city if there is somewhere you think is worth exploring for 2 nights around Osaka/Kyoto/Tokyo
- Is Takayama worth it if don't go to shirakawago? Should i just stay for one more day in Kyoto?
- I'm not really an outdoorsy person that's why i'm a bit hesitant in doing the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route but i'm okay with a light hiking
- Is this itinerary too much or too little for a 1st trip to japan?


by dualani  

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/20 11:14
Hi! Your itinerary looks exciting but I find it a little bit full.

・Day4 Akashi is a small town, whereas Kobe has more things to see and do. You could skip Akashi and take time in Himeji and Kobe.
・Day6 It is doable in a day, but you have to start early as transportation to and from Ise takes time (2.5-3 hours each). I assume you would focus on Ise on this day, so you may not have time to look around Kyoto.
・Day12 This is quite ambitious. It's also a pity you don't take time in Yokohama and Kamakura, because Yokohama offers nice views and fashionable streets, while Kamakura is like a little Kyoto. I would stay one day in Yokohama and another day in Kamakura, or if you don't have time just spend a day in Yokohama.
・Day 15 You may not need a whole day for the Ghibli Museum.
・Doraemon Museum and Hitachi Seaside Park: I'm not sure whether they are worth sparing your time as the first time visit to Japan. But I've never been to either of them so I can't say anything responsible.

Warm Regards,
Manami
by Manami (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/20 11:23
To your questions,

・How about having a day trip to Nikko from Tokyo?
・You could stay in Hakone and experience Onsen in a Japanese style hotel. Hakone is a huge resort area with a lake, a mountain, nice cafes and restaurants.
・It depends on what you expect in Takayama. You can skip it, unless you would definitely like to visit certain sights in Takayama, as it's a long travel to get there and come back.
・You can go to Mt.Takao in the western Tokyo for a light hiking. If you are lucky, you may be able to see beautiful colored leaves.

Best Wishes,
Manami
by Manami (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/20 12:48
A couple of thoughts --

You have 2 days in Kyoto and 8 days in Tokyo. For some of us, that's backwards - Kyoto was Japan's capital from 794 to 1868 and with over a thousand years of history, is the cultural heart of Japan -- you can't see much of it in 2 days.

We're not fans of Osaka (it's primarily a commercial city - a bit like a mini-Tokyo but without Tokyo's attractions) and would always suggest staying in Kyoto. However, you're not actually spending much time in Osaka (other than on day 2) as you're doing trips elsewhere so it's as good a base as anywhere for those trips. What are you planning on doing in Osaka on day 2?
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/20 13:13
>>"- Is Takayama worth it if don't go to shirakawago? Should i just stay for one more day in Kyoto?
- I'm not really an outdoorsy person that's why i'm a bit hesitant in doing the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route but i'm okay with a light hiking"<<

If you go to Takayama (and it's worth it if it fits in to your schedule), don't worry about Shirakawa-go, just go to Hida no Sato when you're in Takayama. You can see much the same gassho houses (admittedly fewer of them and in a different setting) and it'll save you the bus trip to Shirakawa-go, which will undoubtedly be overrun with fellow tourists. In all fairness, in all our visits to Japan, we've never been to Shirakawa-go but have absolutely no desire to ever do so.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5901.html

We did the Alpine Route last year and enjoyed it. It doesn't really involve much hiking (unless you want it to) as the only part you have to walk is the 15 minutes or so walk across the top of the Kurobe Dam. The rest of it is train / bus / cable car / ropeway etc. etc. (with a bit of walking here and there). The downside is that the bus, cable car etc. only go at fixed intervals (perhaps 30 minutes or so or less frequently) and obviously have a finite capacity. Although we had to wait in line a number of times for the next bus etc., we did make it on each time (although a bit squished a couple of times). They forecast the expected number of people doing the route on any given day on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the fewest and 5 being a zoo...) - we went during the week on what was forecast to be a "2" day. Lots of people but not (quite) enough that it ever really became an issue -- however, if our "2" day was anything to go by, a "5" day would be horrendous and you'd probably spend most of the day waiting in line for the next bus, cable car etc. I'm glad we did it and it was certainly enjoyable and worthwhile but, having done it, I don't think we'll be rushing to do it again... (unlike, for example, numerous places in Kyoto that we've been to multiple times and which it's always a pleasure to re-visit).
by tt7 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/20 15:03
I agree with all comments of the PPs.

Just to add:
- your itinerary is already full enough, so I wouldn’t add more (without removing something)
- Ghibli: be aware when and how you need to buy tickets. You are in time, but you need to be ready at the time (not the day, the time!!!) the presale starts to buy the tickets. The internet page may fail for sometime then. The more flexibility you have the better. Try not for a weekend and your chances will improve.

Enjoy your trip to Japan!
by LikeBike (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/21 01:41
Hi!

The Ghibli Museum is not an all day thing. We're relatively decently big fans and we still couldn't spend all day there, it's just not all that big and as an adult you're not going to be waiting to play on the kid only stuffed Cat Bus. I would do that museum and the Doraemon museum the same day since you can take the Keio line to Shimokitazawa and change there for Mukogaoka-Yuen which is not far from the Doraemon Museum.

And as @LikeBike said, make sure you look into the various methods of how to get tickets.

If you time well, you could do Osaka to Ise in about 2 hours. You would want to do a Limited Express Kintetsu line train. You would need to start early. Coming back, I would recommend changing in Kashihara for Kyoto, vs. going back to Osaka. It should save you some travel time if the trains are timed well. We took a limited express from Kyoto to Kashihara.

I've been to Shirakawa Go and Hida no Sato village. I found the latter just lovely and would go back again. I thought Shirakawa Go was a tourist trap.

I've personally had no interest in the Alpine Route, it seems like paying a lot of money to take differing forms of transit through the mountains. I think it would also be harder to fit into your itinerary because in November it is recommended to do the trip from the Nagano side vs. Toyama side because snow sometimes closes part of the route. I guess if you wanted to take a day from Tokyo, you could add Matsumoto and then go from Matsumoto down to Tokyo.

Good luck!
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: 19 days Solo Trip in November (Autumn) 2019/8/21 07:30
Day 13: Tokyo - Lake Kawaguchi - Gotemba Outlet
Why go to see Mt Fuji and then go to a mall? There are lots of other malls in/around Tokyo including "premium outlets" if you need to go shopping.
by JapanCustomTours rate this post as useful

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